Express & Star

Former Walsall striker Troy Deeney has eyes on upset in new sport

Former Walsall and Birmingham City front man Troy Deeney struggled with his first job in football management - but now he is switching sports.


The striker, who took over at Forest Green Rovers earlier this season before being sacked after just a handful of games in charge is trying his hand in the world of pool.

The 35-year-old has accepted a wildcard to appear at the UK Open Pool Championship which takes place in Telford between May 7 and 12.

The ex-Premier League forward has revealed he was approached by promoters World Nineball Tour to be involved in the 256 player invitational event.

Speaking to The Sun, Deeney explained: "I’m absolutely buzzing.

“I always fancied myself on the table at the training ground with the boys.

“So when this opportunity came up, I jumped at the chance to put myself to the test against some of the world’s top players.

“It was something I couldn’t really turn down. I appreciate athletes in other sports. This has given me the opportunity to go and see it first-hand.

“Hopefully it brings a new audience to Nineball. Until two months ago, I didn’t know what the format was. I thought it was reds versus yellows, spots versus stripes.

“I’ll face a proper player to start with. It’s like, for want of a better word, balls-deep. Straight in.”

The ex-Saddler will enter the competition in the first round and will feature in at least two games in the competition against a seeded player.

Each game is the best of nine racks and the prize is £400.

And Deeney is hoping he can turn up the pressure on experienced pool players in a bid to pick up a victory.

He added: "I want to have a bit of fun, try to win a game or two, showcase how great this sport is.

“I think there’s more pressure on the other guys – they don’t want to be the one who loses to the footballer!

“That’s my mental edge. Get them to understand the pressure is on you not me.

“Some people may moan about this but then they always moan about something.

“We cannot please everyone. We are putting the hard yards in and training with ex-pros.

“I’m not coming here as a gimmick, turn up on the day and start trying to chip the ball. It won’t be like that.

“We live in a world where people tell you, you cannot do something. It’s a miserable world. Turn the news on, you’ll find more than enough things to be negative about.

“Why not have some fun? Do something new.

“It’s me trying to learn something new. We can shed a light on these fantastic pool players. I’m genuinely grateful for the opportunity.”